Arik Air, West and Central Africa’s largest airline has alerted passengers of worsening aviation fuel (JET A1) scarcity across the country.
The aviation fuel scarcity started manifesting last week, when major oil marketers began to ration supply of the product to airlines.
One of the marketers issued a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) on Saturday alerting of non-availability of the product in Lagos. Another marketer said it was running out of product in Lagos with limited supplies in Port Harcourt and Abuja.
Ola Banji, the airline’s spokesman said in a statement that this development has started taking its toll on Arik Air due to the airline’s large scale operations, with flights being delayed across the country and in some cases cancelled especially for airports without airfield lighting.
With a daily fuel need of about 500,000 litres and an average of over 100 daily flights, Arik Air is mostly affected by this scarcity which is the fourth this year alone. One of the airline’s flights to Johannesburg on Tuesday had to be routed via Port Harcourt to pick up fuel.
“As a result of the worsening supply situation of the aviation fuel, Arik Air has announced further reduction in flights from Wednesday, November 16 to cope with the fresh scarcity, and reduce the unpleasant delays and cancellations which passengers have experienced in recent times.
“It has therefore appealed for the understanding of its valued customers whose flights are likely to be affected by the scarcity and scaling down of operations.
“Where flights are to be delayed or cancelled as a result of the scarcity, Arik Air will be sending text or email messages to passengers. Passengers are also advised to call the airline’s call centre on 01 2799999 or 08077791683 for enquiries about their flights.
Arik Air is Nigeria and West Africa’s largest airline and operates mainly from two hubs at Murtala Mohammed Airport Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja.
It operates a fleet of 28 state-of-the art regional, medium haul and long haul aircraft including two Airbus A330-200.
The airline currently serves 18 destinations across Nigeria as well as Accra (Ghana), Banjul (Gambia), Dakar (Senegal), Freetown (Sierra Leone), Monrovia (Liberia), Cotonou (Benin Republic), Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire), Douala (Cameroon), Luanda (Angola), Libreville (Gabon), London Heathrow (UK), Johannesburg (South Africa) and New York JFK (USA).
The airline operates a combined number of about 120 daily flights from its hubs in Lagos and Abuja, and has been Africa’s fastest growing airline for the last five years.